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Within Buddhism, love, or lovingkindness, is seen as an innate quality. Sometimes, we can describe this innate quality as our sense of basic warmth, or basic OKness. And in Buddhism, this is connected to our wider quality of buddhanature, or awakened nature. What this means is that lovingkindness is possible, because it’s at the root of both what we seek and what others seek. When we look at our actions and the actions of others, we all seek happiness. We all seek connection. We all seek to be loved and to give love. Reflecting on this, we can see that one of our root emotional states, or why we do what we do, is because we love.

I like to think about lovingkindness in this way, because then it’s not so much of a stranger. It’s something we can connect to within the basic makeup of how we interact each day. Now, of course, we might also struggle with the heart being closed toward some of our own emotions, or closed toward others in our life, or in certain situations, and we can work on that. But it’s good to remember, from time to time, that connected to our buddhanature, connected to our basic sense of OKness or warmth, is the ability to love and feel connected, and to open to care.

In one way, we could think of the practice of lovingkindness as a cultivation of [this innate quality]. But, another way, we can think of it is just allowing and uncovering our innate light or innate warmth toward ourselves and others. I personally prefer this second [approach], because it allows me to recognize that I’m not cultivating something, or I’m not embodying something that I don’t already have. Rather, I’m actually just enhancing it and trying to bring it out more. Or I’m trying to remove what’s obscuring that light or warmth, that light of love, through this practice. 

Adapted from Scott Tusa’s Meditation Month video, Practicing Lovingkindness. Watch the full video here and learn more about Meditation Month here.

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